I am a 57 year-old woman who always thought I was born 10 years too late. I graduated HS in 1977. I missed Woodstock. I was never once hosed off the White House lawn. It was during President Obama’s second election that I decided it wasn’t too late to get involved. Tomorrow I will be a Staging Director for my 3rd Democratic campaign: President Obama, VA Governor Terry McAullife, and now for our future – President Hillary Clinton.
My first marriage was an abusive one, both emotionally and physically. I only had the courage to leave after the man I married held a loaded gun to my head and asked my 3 year-old daughter if she wanted to see mommy’s brains splattered on the wall. I packed 2 suit cases full of clothes, took my 2 children, my car and never looked back. There are a lot of people I need to thank for helping me through that period of my life.
I was a single mother for 6 years after which I married the most wonderful man in the world. We have one son together. He loves my 2 older children as his own – and they love him back. He had three older children from his first marriage that I welcomed whole-heartedly. Three years ago, I took George to the ER where he was diagnosed in end-stage heart failure. He was miss-diagnosed as having chronic bronchitis. The truth was, he was drowning because his heart wasn’t strong enough to move fluid through his body. Our next challenge will be the LVAD and a heart transplant. We are blessed that I work for a company that provides amazing health insurance. I went from wife to care-giver in one frightening night.
Geo’s youngest son Mark (my step-son) came to live with us when he was 12. Mark wasn’t as lucky as his father. At 36, Mark went to the ER with chest pains. The doctors told him that he was going to eventually need heart surgery – but because he had no insurance, they could not schedule what was not immediately necessary. Mark went home. The next time Mark had chest pains, he didn’t make it. He was 37. Three months after my husband’s diagnosis, his son died. Mark died because he did not have health insurance. Geo and I were not aware of the situation until after his death. Every time I hear people complain about the ACA, I could just scream. ACA would have saved our son’s life.
So now, I fight. I fight for health care. I fight against domestic violence. I fight for the woman who stands for what I believe in – and against the man who believes that grabbing a woman by the p*ssy is okay because, you know, he’s a star…
Volunteering has given me amazing opportunities other than distracting me from total insanity. I drove in Joe Biden’s motorcade. I met and had a conversation with our amazing first lady, Michelle Obama. I’ve spent time with our future Vice President, Tim Kaine and countless other VA politicians.
My advice? Get involved. Make a difference. Change the world. And by all means VOTE!